Column: Crystal ball predictions for 2019 high school sports
It’s time to peer into my crystal ball to see what 2019 has in store for the Southland’s high school athletes (and a few former ones too), coaches and fans.
The greatest duel matching brother against brother will occur when sophomore infielder Cody Schrier of San Juan Capistrano JSerra stands in the batter’s box to face brother Alex, a senior pitcher for Santa Margarita. If Cody gets a hit, big brother will let him borrow his car. If little brother strikes out, he’ll have to wash the car. Prepare for months of trash talking either way.
Sophomore Diego Barahona of L.A. Cathedral will become so good in soccer that the local pro teams will start to pay attention.
Solomon Strader of West Ranch will win the state title in the 400 meters.
Oaks Christian’s new on-campus dorms in Westlake Village opening in August will become so popular (hot tubs anyone?) that other private schools will hire real estate agents to look for property to create their own housing options.
DJ Uiagalelei of Bellflower St. John Bosco will look like Giancarlo Stanton at the plate and throw 90 mph fastballs on the mound when he takes a break from football this spring.
Ziaire Williams of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, at 6 feet 9, long, lanky and only a junior, will be compared to a young Brandon Ingram.
A fantasy football league for high school players will be created.
All-City catcher Johnny Tincher of Lake Balboa Birmingham, known for his backflips after victories, will upgrade to a double flip when the Patriots defeat Woodland Hills El Camino Real to win the City championship.
The younger brothers of Tommy Brown (Santa Ana Mater Dei), Jaime Jaquez (Camarillo) and Uiagalelei (St. John Bosco) will arrive this fall and make an immediate impact in football as freshmen.
The best prep baseball game of the season will match Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and ace pitcher Lucas Gordon against Studio City Harvard-Westlake and ace pitcher Sam Hliboki the week of April 22.
Junior softball pitcher Sarah Willis of Norco will hit for the cycle and also throw a shutout.
Mater Dei will play St. John Bosco for the fourth consecutive season in the Southern Section Division 1 football final, leading to a revolt among public schools.
Bleacher Report will launch a pay-per-view halftime dunk competition among Cassius Stanley of Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, Onyeka Okongwu of Chino Hills and Joshua Christopher of Lakewood Mayfair.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will write the majority opinion denying LaVar Ball’s lawsuit against the NCAA trying to get his son, LaMelo, eligible to play college basketball.
Former Vista Murrieta and USC 400-meter runner Michael Norman will set another world record and be featured on “60 Minutes.”
The high school basketball debut of freshman Bronny James will cause the LAPD to declare a tactical alert to deal with the overzealous fans and media trying to get into the gym.
Santa Ana Foothill outfielder Kyle Ashworth will go five for five in a baseball game, reinforcing the comment from coach Vince Brown that Ashworth is “the best hitter I’ve coached since Shawn Green.”
A high school football player will set a world record for the number of times he tweets, “I’m blessed to receive my 300th offer from …”
Former Santa Monica Crossroads basketball player Shareef O’Neal will begin his freshman season at UCLA with an emphatic dunk, showing his comeback from heart surgery is complete.
L.A. Windward, led by Charisma Osborne, will win another state girls’ basketball championship.
Former L.A. Loyola cornerback David Long of Michigan will be the steal of the NFL draft.
The Simi Valley pitching duo of 6-foot-7 Justin Campbell and 5-8 Andrew Devine will leave pro scouts arguing for months who’s better, then cause everyone to conclude, “They’re both good.”
The coming teachers strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District will cause even more parents to abandon the district for private or charter schools.
Loyola and Cathedral will meet in the soccer game of the year that will be decided by penalty kicks while fans from both schools continue to debate who has the best view of downtown Los Angeles.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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